Statement – Update on COVID-19: a tipping-point in the course of the pandemic - World

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English News and Press Release on World about Health and Epidemic; published on 14 Jan 2021 by WHO
Statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe - Russian Press Briefing

Copenhagen, 14 January 2021

Good morning,

First and foremost, I wish you a happy and healthy new year for 2021.

We were prepared for a challenging start to 2021 and it has been just that. One year from WHO's first news report about this virus, we have new tools at our disposal and considerably more knowledge, but we remain in the grip of COVID-19, as cases surge and we tackle new challenges brought by the mutating virus.

This moment represents a tipping-point in the course of the pandemic - where science, politics, technology and values must form a united front, in order to push back this persistent and elusive virus.

The WHO European Region saw over 26 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and over 580 000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in 2020.

As we enter 2021, over 280 million people across the WHO European Region are living in countries under full national lockdown with more countries set to announce lockdown measures in the coming week. Transmission across the Region has been sustained at very high rates of infection.

Where there are signs of stabilization or even decreased incidence in some countries, this needs to be taken with some caution. The impact of the holiday period, of gatherings of families and communities, and any relaxation of physical distancing and mask wearing behaviour for example, cannot yet be determined. Testing and notification activities may have also been lower during the festive season, resulting in an incomplete picture of the current epidemiological situation.

2021 brings with it new opportunities and tools (such as the…
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